New dam helps optimize food production
The Bois Forte Band of Chippewa use the dam on Nett Lake to regulate water levels for growing wild rice, a spiritually significant food source for the Band. However, flood damage in the spring of 2022 compromised a portion of this dam and required immediate attention. The Band engaged our Duluth-based professionals as part of an emergency design-build team with Northland Constructors of Duluth, Inc.
We provided structural and civil engineering services for the new dam, stream restoration services, surveying, and construction administration services. Working with the contractor, we removed the existing mechanical dam structure damaged by the flood. In its place, we installed a new rock-arch dam with stop logs that allows the Band to raise and lower lake levels to optimize wild rice growth.
Today, the dam continues to provide the Band with a better method of controlling water levels in the lake. Additionally, boat ramps, located both upstream and downstream from the dam, and final grading and seeding of the site has created an aesthetically pleasing natural space for the Band to utilize for fishing and other outdoor purposes.
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